Scoliosis Treatment in India – Cost, Best Doctors & Hospitals

Posted on January 9th, 2020 by Ganesh Gopakumar

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What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve to one side. The condition can happen at any age but usually happens to children just before puberty (10-12 years). About 3% of the teenagers have the issue. It can happen at any part of the spine but most commonly seen at the level of the chest and lower back. The angle of curvature may be small, large or anywhere in between. But any curve more than 10° is considered to be scoliosis.

Doctors usually use the letters ‘S’ or ‘C’ to describe the curve. The person with scoliosis looks like leaning or have unevenly positioned shoulders or hips. Females are more likely to develop scoliosis than males. The more the curve, the more it can worsen. The double curve (S-shaped) is more likely to worsen than C shaped curve. 

Types of scoliosis

Doctors have divided the condition into two types:

Structural scoliosis

In this condition, the curve is rigid and permanent. The curvature cannot be reversed.

Non-structural scoliosis

This is a much safer condition where it can be reversed easily. It usually happens due to other conditions such as muscle spasm and appendix. The curvature goes away once they are treated.

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Causes of Scoliosis

Symptoms of Scoliosis

  • The shoulder or shoulder blade is at different level
  • Ribs are at different levels
  • The person may lean to a side
  • Uneven lengths of limbs
  • One hip appears more prominent

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor makes an initial physical examination making the patient stand and bent forward to get a clear view of the spine. He then may ask you to loosen up both hands in this position to check for irregularities in the rib cage. 

He can also check on:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Abnormal reflex
  • Numbness

Usually, only an x-ray is required for the diagnosis of scoliosis and determines the curvature of the spine. In case of doubt of a tumor, the doctor may refer you for an MRI examination. 

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Treatment

The doctor decides which treatment is best for you depending on your condition. He considers:

  • Your age
  • Whether bone is still growing
  • Curve pattern
  • The severity of the curve
  • Location of the curve

Braces

This type of treatment is done for young patients with moderate scoliosis whose bones are still growing. But wearing a brace would just prevent the curve from becoming worse. It does not cure or reverse the curve. 

Braces are usually made of plastic. It fits under the clothes and can’t be seen outside. It stays under the arms, around the ribcage, lower back, and hips.

It can be worn both day and night. It’s effectiveness increase with the time for it is worn. There are very few restrictions while wearing them. You can even take off the brace easily if you are gonna participate in sports. 

Braces are usually removed once the bones stop growing:

  • Two years after menstruation starts for girls.
  • When facial hair becomes prominent in boys.
  • When height does not increase anymore.

There are two types of braces:

Thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO)

This type of brace is made of plastic and usually very slim. It cannot be seen outside and fits under the clothes perfectly. 

Milwaukee brace

This is a full-torso brace with neck rings and rests for chin and back of the head. Milwaukee brace is usually used when TLSO is ineffective or cannot be used. 

Casting

Casting is done in infants instead of a brace which helps the spine to grow back to its normal shape as the infant grows. The cast is made up of plaster of Paris and needs to be changed regularly as the infant grows rapidly. It is worn all the time and cannot be removed.

Before treatment (left) . After treatment (right)

Surgery

In severe cases of scoliosis (45 and more degrees), the doctor may suggest surgery to prevent further curvature of the spine. These types of the spine can affect the lungs. The surgery is called spinal fusion surgery. 

In spinal fusion, two or more of the bones in the spine (vertebrae) are joined together. Pieces of bone or a bone-like material are placed between the vertebrae. Metal rods, hooks, screws or wires are used to support while the old and new bone material fuses together.

If the scoliosis is progressing rapidly at a young age, surgeons can install a rod that can adjust in length as the child grows. The length of the rod depends upon the length of the curvature of the spine. The surgeon uses screws to attach the rod to the top and bottom sections of the spinal curvature, and is usually lengthened every six months. There are two types of rods, traditionally growing rods and magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR). The length is increased either by surgery or via external magnets depending on the type of rod you have used.  It takes 12-18 months for the spine to become normal.

Cost of Scoliosis Surgery (Spinal fusion) in India.

The cost of surgery in India varies from USD 11000-13000. 

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The huge variation in price is mainly due to the choice of city and choice of hospital. The costs are higher in a premium hospital in a metropolitan city compared to an economy hospital in a normal city. So choose your hospital and city wisely to get a lesser overall expense. 

Post-surgery care

  • Avoid bending over, lifting weights for 4-6 weeks post-surgery.
  • Avoid strenuous activities until your doctor allows you to.
  • Start physiotherapy to strengthen the spine.
  • Have a good calcium intake for the bones to heal.

Best hospitals in India for Scoliosis treatment

  1. Spine Surgery in Ahmedabad
  2. Radiance Hospitals
  3. Indian Spinal Injuries Center, New Delhi
  4. Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
  5. Shalby Hospital, Ahmedabad
  6. Rockland Hospital, Qutab, New Delhi
  7. Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
  8. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
  9. Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon
  10. Manipal Hospital, Bangalore

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Best doctors in India for Scoliosis treatment

  1. Dr. Hitesh Garg
  2. Dr. Vineesh Mathur
  3. Dr. Navaladi Shankar
  4. Dr. Jawahar Pahuja
  5. Dr. B Mohapatra
  6. Dr. Sajan K Hedge
  7. Dr. Devesh Dholakia
  8. Dr. Prakash Singh
  9. Dr. Gopalakrishnan Krishnan
  10. Dr. S Karunagaran

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FAQ

Does scoliosis require treatment?

The answer depends on the condition and severity of the curve. Some scoliosis tends to remain unchanged over time and it does not affect the functioning of the body. Some other curves tend to increase and worsen or affect the functioning of the lungs and other organs. This type needs medical attention. Just consult your doctor and he will be able to tell you.

Does scoliosis affect childbearing?

The simple answer is no. There are many studies that show there is no relation to the curvature with childbearing. There are no increases in fetal distress, premature deliveries, or problems with delivery. And also pregnancy does not typically cause a significant increase in the degree of scoliosis in an unfused spine.

Does having scoliosis make me more prone to osteoporosis?

There is no hard evidence that scoliosis can lead to bone degeneration. You just need to keep your bones healthy by not smoking, taking sufficient calcium and vitamin D, and some weight-bearing exercises irrespective of whether you have scoliosis or not.

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